The Future of Education

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    Bill Gates is a big believer in online education.

    Gates organized a TED session this year and brought Salman Khan, an educator that left his job as a hedge fund analyst to pursue online video education, now reaching 1 million students per month.

    “The first feedback came from my cousins. They told me that they preferred me on YouTube than in person.”

    “And so you can imagine, so here I was, an analyst at a hedge fund. It was very strange for me to do something of social value.”

    “If Isaac Newton had done YouTube videos on calculus, I wouldn’t have to.
    well.. assuming he was good.”

    In an interesting flip to the traditional classroom script, teachers can assign the videos and interactive online exercises for home and do what used to be homework in the classroom.

    “By removing the one-size-fits all lecture from the classroom and letting students do work and interact with each other in class, these teachers have used technology to humanize the classroom.”

    The TED talk just went online, with Q&A with Gates at the end, who concludes: “You just got a glimpse at the future of education.”

    PhOtOnQuAnTiQuE, drona, jeany777, and 14 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    View 5 more comments

    1. vennettaj 49 months ago | reply

      oh oops ..i didn't check the video and was on a bit different topic (check your video! ) :P

    2. John Furrier 49 months ago | reply

      Steve: you're photo is amazing.. nice shot

    3. jurvetson 49 months ago | reply

      thanks. After several experiments with the low-light environment, I have settled on what I call my "TED lens" — a prime 100mm f/2 lens. I set the camera to a high ISO, f/2 and -2/3 EV, and it works like a champ. This photo, for example, is straight from the can, without even a crop.

      v_j: I like it better that way. Keep us guessing.

      drona: Khan was saying that he enriches the in-class experience. Debatable. Bill Gates would go further still, and argues that “Five years from now on the web for free you’ll be able to find the best lectures in the world. It will be better than any single university. College – except for the parties – needs to be less place-based.” (from Technonomy)

      Sol - yes, the institution of tracking in schools, a relic from the 1950's, is particularly insidious.

    4. tifotter 49 months ago | reply

      I'm working at an ed tech company right now. There is plenty of room for improvement out there, and in my opinion, so much to learn from the entertainment and gaming sectors. I've been shocked by how low the bar is set in education. Khan Academy curriculum seems mostly about fluency and practice for math, and not teaching fundamental concepts through interaction, but only through video. Granted, I have only played for a few hours. I hope 5-years from now the bar has been raised much higher, all around. Salman Kahn's enthusiasm is infectious.

    5. Pieces of Eye 49 months ago | reply

      I would love to see this taken to the upper division college level (and not just videos of lectures).

    6. Dr DAD (Daniel A D'Auria MD) 49 months ago | reply

      When it comes to education, I think it's all about capturing kid's attention. Make it interesting at their level, put it in the context of their daily lives (YouTube),and concepts suddenly have relevance. Put it in a standard book and present it in a dry monotonous tone in front of the class and you have a lullaby!

    7. Astrocatou 49 months ago | reply

      I thought it was the teachers role to engage the students...
      Not the technology...

      But then....whats that famous line....
      "Its the medium that is the message"...?
      Who was that... Woody Allen...?

      *inside joke if you have seen the movie... (? 1980)

    8. tull 49 months ago | reply

      I feel the participatory learning component (with practice questions) offers more potential for this website to improve education than just the videos. Videos of lectures on any topic offer a false sense of learning, unless the audience is committed to testing themselves on the subject matter. In other words, familiarity must not be confused with true understanding.

    9. jeany777 49 months ago | reply

      Hopefully Bill will see this nice shot!
      Indeed it is a great talk and a great offering..

    10. Dr DAD (Daniel A D'Auria MD) 49 months ago | reply

      I would agree Dave, but by what ever means necessary. That is what separates a good teacher from a great teacher.

    11. Astrocatou 49 months ago | reply

      And then there is the concept that an (internal) love of learning will kick in...

      And the concept of future benefit from short term pain....
      (How interesting can you make grade 12 Calculus...?)
      A concepts perhaps no longer reinforced as much in N America,as opposed to other cultures...
      Thinking of math,science performance here.
      Just another Luddite viewpoint...but then I am old enough to remember banging chalk brushes together to clean them.....(!)

    12. jurvetson 49 months ago | reply

      well, gosh, my son loves calculus. It's what he loves to do after school. And he's in elementary school.

      As for me, that grade 12 Calculus was a highlight of my educational experience.

      Jeany - I'm pretty sure he will. He liked the last one.

    13. Astrocatou 49 months ago | reply

      I was lucky,and had a few like that too....

    14. vennettaj 49 months ago | reply

      well.. i was also present at school mostly because of math challenge.. but then things changed lol... ok, kids are different...things go differently for different people...something knew can catch the attention of somebody who's been for whatever reason spacing out, but has more potential.. that can be a new teacher as well..

    15. Pieces of Eye 48 months ago | reply

      @Jurvetson Did you go through limits and derive the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus?

    16. jurvetson 48 months ago | reply

      yeah... and I thought that was pretty cool... but my son has already done that too

    17. Pieces of Eye 48 months ago | reply

      Well I assumed you had. :D
      I was asking if you had taught him limits.
      I'm glad he did. :)

    18. vennettaj 48 months ago | reply


      SJ, do you realize what you are doing..parents will start torturing their young kids with calculus now :p ..

      reminded me of this..perhaps well known :

      my favorite thing she said somewhere was that she was confused why everybody sounded so busy in college

    19. Photo--Graphy [deleted] 47 months ago | reply

      Very nice shot

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